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are capable of making big financial decisions. this bill, the calm act, is not something that i'm excited about or proud to offer. this is not a great plan, but it's merely a better plan than going over the cliff. it should never have come to this. we have known for more than a year that this day was coming. for more than a year, i have asked congress for a big fix to our nation's fiscal challenges. i pushed strongly for the simpson-bowles framework for deficit reduction, and yet here we are no closer to a sensible decision on how to bring our $1.1 trillion budget deficit and our $16.1 trillion public debt under control. well, guess what? time's up. no more games, no more excuses, no more ceking the can down the road. we have to act and we have to act in a way that puts our fiscal house in order, reassures
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the financial markets and puts the people ahead of politics, and we have to deal with these tax increases and spending cuts in a humane and tolerable way. the calm act does all of that. look what happens to people in need if we go over the cliff and just do nothing. on new year's day, the lowest income tax rate will jump from 10% back to the clinton-era rate of 15%. that's a pretty big financial bite for people in west virginia and i know in ohio, too, sir. these are people that are struggling right now. instead of an overnight tax hike of 5%, the calm act smooths the transition by phasing in increases over three years. so instead of a 5% increase, the 10% bracket would only go to 1 1.6% the first year. the calm act does the same with the other tax rate tax rates phm in over three years. but the calm act also puts the
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senate on record in support of comprehensive overhaul of our tax system. we can still work towards a big fix like the simpson-bowles framework and if we can do that next year, we could stop the full increase from ever occurring. another important feature of the calm act is the way it treats sequestration. again, if we go over the cliff and do nothing, nearly every government program will be hit with the same percentage cut, and that includes social services, education, research and infrastructure, all of the things that we need to grow our fragile economy. the calm act gives the office of management and budget discretion and flexibility to recommend what programs and what agencies and accounts to cut. if o.m.b. fails to do the job, then the sequestration across-the-board cuts kick back n of course the final word rests right here with us in congress. o.m.b.'s decision with be overridden by a joint
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resolution. every provision of the calm act o the senate. in fact, at one time or another, nearly every feature of this plan has been offered by both republicans and democrats, including president obama and speaker boehner. all i've done is pull them together to offer them has a compassionate alternative to what happens if we go over the fiscal cliff. true, from the very beginning i have favored a comprehensive solution to put our fiscal house in orderings something along the lines of the simpson-bowles. we don't have that luxury right now. but perhaps it will only soften the blow of the fiscal cliff but also give us a sense of urgency about a grand bargain to repair our financial house. i am not so naive as to believe everybody is going to check their politics at the door, even at this late hour, but this is not a time for politicking, bickering or partisan games. to allow the country to plunge
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over the fiscal cliff without any alternative plans to soften the landing is completely unacceptable. i can't think of anything more irresponsible than to let this great country go over the fiscal cliff, to play games with the lives of americans in such a callous way, to jeopardize the financial standing of our country and to alarm our financial narcotics ways that could trigger another recession. something has gone terribly wrong when the biggest threat to the american economy is the american congress. i repeat, sir, something has gone terribly wrong when the biggest threat to our american economy is our american congress. it doesn't have to be that way. i'm putting something on the i believe that is fair and balanced. it includes a slow phase-in of the tax increases that are going to happen inevitably if we go over the cliff. it includes a slow phase of all
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the increases and includes targeted spending decreases, and it moves us closer to tax reforms. everybody helps and we do it in a way that keeps our country strong and prosperous. this is one of those moments that the senate was intended to live up to, to provide leadership, to find common ground, to level with the american people, and to be honest with each other. with our debt continuing to soar and too many americans still looking for jobs, these are times that demand the very best of this senate. everywhere in west virginia, and, in fact, all over this country, families are making tough choices about how to make ends meet. it's time for us in washington to do the same. here in the senate, it seems to me that we're always fighting about something. that might not change any time soon, but more often than not, i believe that we can raise to the common ground of great national purpose and i believe with all of my heart that this is one of
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those times. thank you, mr. president. and i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader is recognized. mr. durbin: ask consent the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i rise with the intention of asking consent for the immediate passage of s. 215, the increasing american jobs through greater exports to africa act, legislation i've introduce in the senate with senators boozman, coons, cardin and landrieu, and that is being sponsored and led in the house of representatives by congressman chris smith and congresswoman karen bass. it's a straightforward, bipartisan bill that tackles a very serious problem, specifically making sure that american companies have the ability to compete in the growing african market, a market that economists call the next frontier, a market that is hungry for american goods and services. the african market is also one where others are competing. too often at the expense of american businesses and american employees, american products and american values. china, in ti ha particular, hasn
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aggressive strategy to help its companies invest in africa, leaving a trouble footprint across the continent of its environmental, and governance and values standards. the loss to american workers and american influence on the continent is enormous and inexcusable. that's why we introduced this bill, to make sure senior administration official brings desperately needed coordination and leadership to the u.s. export strategies in africa. it also makes sure that various agencies, such as the department of commerce, the export-import bank, the department of state and others are fully engaged in helping foster u.s. investment in africa. for months, we've been working with the various committees of the house and senate on this effort. i want to notably thank senator john kerry of massachusetts and senator dick lugar of indiana for seeing the unanimous -- the unanimous support through the foreign relations subcommittee was secured, as well as the banking and finance committees for their help in allowing us to
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go forward. the bill cleared the hotline on the democratic side some time ago and we've worked with a number of our republican colleagues to address many legitimate concerns. so imagine my disappointment at this, the closing hour, that i learned that there is a new republican hold blocking this bill at the very last minute. mr. president, you've been to africa. you know what we're facing there. this is a continent which is emerging in the 21st century in a way that we never imagined. it's surprising to some to learn that when they try to project forward where the economic growth in the world will occur in the next 10 or 20 years, 60% of that growth will be in africa. many people still view it in a stereotypical context of some backward continent of people with limited resources and limited ability. nothing could be further from the truth. africa is going to emerge in the 21st century. the question is: will the united
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states be there as a trading partner, sharing not only our goods and services but our values? we ought to take heed to the fact that the chinese are there and their role is growing. and if we step back and allow the chinese to master this continent at our expense, we will pay for it for generations. they have literally ensconced themselves in this economy in so many different ways. currently they're making what they call concessional loans, that means disownt loans. you want to -- discount loans. you want to build a new stadium in adas abbab income ethiopia? come see the chinese. you want to borrow $100 million, whatever it happens to be, we'll give it to you. just pay us back 70% of what you borrow. only 70%. how could the ethiopians say no? and then the chinese say, oh, only one condition. the contractor is going to be from china and at least half of the employees will be chinese employees, as will the engineering firm, the architect
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ral firm and all different -- ack technical toural firm and the private sector coming to build this stadium. then when they finish, they don't leave, they stick around to build on the next project, they become an integral part of the economy of that nation at the expense of the united states. so what should we do about it, nothing? after hearing this story in ethiopia, i came back and gathered together the american agencies that promote exports to africa. it turned out there were half a dozen of them. they were glad to see one another. they don't get together that often. and i asked them, what are you doing? "oh, we each have concern. we're each doing a little of this and a little.." butter no coordination. how many speeches have we heard on the floor here about the waste of government dollars, taxpayers' dollars because of a fumbling, uncoordinated effort by our government? that's why i introduced this bill, to avoid that. the purpose behind this bill is to set a goal of dramatically increasing exports to africa, to use existing resources at existing agencies to achieve it, and to make sure at the end of the day we create more jobs in
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america exporting to africa and more businesses successfully exporting goods and services to that great continent. at the end of the day, the africans will have quality products, good and services and we'll have more jobs in the united states. now, what's wrong with that equation? obviously, there is one senator at least who thinks it's a bad idea and he's put a hold on this bill after i've spent months working to clear it through all of the committees in the hopes that we could have this bipartisan bill that is a bill that is supported and sponsored by republican subcommittee chairman chris smith over in the house of representatives. this is supposed to be what we're about, to come up with a bipartisan effort, to come up with an effort that will create jobs in america, to coordinate existing agencies, to open new markets for america's goods and services that will been fit every state in the union. -- that will benefit every state in the union. that's what i set out to do.
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i'm so close to getting it done. one senator is going to object. it's unfortunate, after all of the work that we've put into this, that they would stop this bill. i hope that the senator will reconsider his position on this. and i have an official request that i'm going to make at this and i have an official request that i'm going to make at this point. senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 536, s. 2215, that the committee reported substitute amendment be withdrawn, the durbin substitute amendment be agreed to, the bill as amend be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and statements relating to this be printed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. toomey: i'd like to make a couple of observations and explain why i'm going to object to this. first, for the record to be
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clear, it's my understanding that this measure, and the gentleman from illinois, there is no question he's put a great deal of work into this. all of his motives are absolutely commendable and legitimate motives. the measure itself, i believe, has not been through a markup in the banking committee. and there are many members who have serious concerns about this particular bill for which the unanimous consent request is being made. but more broadly about the ex-im bank. in fact, i would argue this bill and this unanimous consent request puts a light on one of the concerns that many of us have with the ex-im bank in the first place. so let's remember what the ex-im bank s. this is a taxpayer subsidy for large corporations. i'm a big fan of trade. i'm a big fan of exports. i am not a fan of taxpayers having to subsidize the activity. and some of us, myself very much
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included, believe it ought to be a very high priority of this and any other administration to work for the mutual end of these taxpayer-subsidized export vehicles around the world. they exist in other places as well and that's the excuse usually given for why we have to also subsidize our corporations on their exports. i don't think that's a very good argument, but i would certainly prefer to see a broad curtailment and eventually the end of this process whereby europeans and asians and americans all engage in this flawed policy of subsidizing their prospective corporations export efforts. here's what happens with this bill, and this is exactly the kind of thing that happens when the government sets up a political venture to engage in economic activity. it gets politicized.
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someone comes along with perfectly good motives and good intentions and decides that there's some category of activity that's more important than other categories of activity. in this case it's a geographical prioritization that the gentleman from illinois would like to make by requiring that a certain amount of business be transed in africa. -- be transacted in africa. i suspect there are people in this body and in other places that would make similarly persuasive arguments that there are places in asia that ought to get this special treatment that the gentleman from illinois is recommending. and there are other people that would suggest maybe it shouldn't be a geographically based preference, but it ought to be a product line-based preference or it ought to be driven by the number of american workers that are involved in whatever it is that's being exported. i can imagine all kinds of criteria by which political forces could decide that the
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ex-im bank ought to have special treatment in special categories, all of which simply distorts the normal market activities that would actually optimize exports, economic growth and job creation. so, i believe that for, despite all the good intentions and the hard work that's done by the gentleman from illinois, i think this specific policy would be a mistake. and more broadly, i think we are not yet on the right path of curtailing the taxpayer obligation for these comport subsidies -- these export subsidies. mr. president, for that reason i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader is recognized. mr. durbin: the parliamentarian referred this bill to the senate foreign relations committee. it was reported favorably. it was not referred to the senate banking committee, but i made a point with senator boozman, your colleague on the republican side, of taking this bill to the banking committee,
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which cleared it. this is not an attempt to go around this which the. i've worked with the pwafrpblging committee. i have -- the banking committee. i have the greatest respect for members on both sides. secondly, this argument that we have got to get out of the business of having government support for business activity is a naive argument. let me give awe couple of numbers to reflect on when it comes to the future of our chances of american businesses working successfully to export to africa. right now we anticipate the export-import bank of the united states is going to provide support of about $1 trillion in -- i should have said has supplied support of about $1 trillion in 2011 for all exports to africa. some of these are guarantees on loans. some of them allow for lower interest rates because the guarantees do exist. but let me tell you at the same time what's happening with the chinese. while we are putting in $1
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trillion in africa, the chinese are putting in $12 trillion. who's going to win that competition? when it's all over, who will win that competition? by a margin of 12 to 1 the chinese will win it. many of those who say they support businesses and new jobs for america basically want to abandon the field and walk away from it, say let the chinese take it away. we're going to play free market. that's aufplt no government -- that's all. no government involvement. an arms length transaction with these country. you know where we'll end up? fewer jobs in america, fewer exports to africa, fewer businesses working on that continent. some people say why did you pick africa? of all the places. you could have picked asia, you could have picked these different places. when you look at the indicators, the african continent is undergoing rapid growth in middle-class development most americans aren't aware of. in the year 2000, 6.7% of the
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population of africa had access to the internet. talk about the dark ages. 6.7% in 2000. by 2009 it had grown from 6.7% to 27.1% of the population with access to the internet. 78% of africa's rural population now has access to clean water. our images of a backward continent are just plain wrong. our opportunities are unlimited. but not if we ignore the reality. the chinese are going to outthink us and outwork us, and we're going to lose. and ultimately say well, we're pure of heart. we're not going to have our government involved in this. the chinese may want to do that. we'll just give up the jobs that could have come to america. we'll give up the opportunities for businesses to export to africa from the united states. what a terrible outcome that is. it really is shortsighted. it really argues for a good economic theory, but one that really doesn't reflect the
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reality of the world we live in today. after all these months of hard work by a bipartisan group of senators and congressmen, we come down to one objection. that's how the senate works. i know it. i respect it. each senator has a right to make an objection. i want to applaud my colleague from pennsylvania for coming to the floor and saying it in his own words. many times this is done in secrecy without any disclosure of who's behind a hold or an objection. and i sal lewd the senator from -- and i salute the senator from pennsylvania for his honesty in coming to the floor. i ask consent the statement i'm about to make be placed in a separate part in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. durbin: it's hard to imagine we're a little over 24 hours away from going over the cliff, the so-called fiscal cliff that occurs at midnight on december 31, tomorrow. this cliff is self-imposed. it is a penalty that we voted for if we failed to deal with the deficit that our nation faces. and unfortunately, as of this
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moment we've not reached an agreement to avoid it. i haven't given up hope. conversations and negotiations continue all through this day, and i'm sure into tomorrow. and i hope by the end of the day, by the end of tomorrow night we can celebrate the end of this year and the beginning of a new year with good news for the american people. this is exactly the wrong time for us to go over this cliff. we are in the midst of an economic recovery. we are seeing new job creation. businesses are seeing new growth. we are seeing the kind of economic indicators we've been waiting for for years. this going over the cliff is going to bring uncertainty to our markets, and with that uncertainty a pull back of consumer confidence and a reduction, i'm afraid, of business activity and the creation of new jobs. there are ways to avoid this, sensible ways to avoid it. the president has suggested one. in addition to spending cuts, we need to increase revenue to reduce our deficit. the president has said let's have the tax rates which applied
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during the clinton administration, a time of great economic expansion, apply to those making over $250,000 a year. that's only 2% of the population, but it generates hundreds of billions of dollars in savings over a ten-year period of time. there's been resistance from the other side of the aisle, and we are in active negotiation with the republicans now as to what we can do to raise revenue to reduce our deficit. we're also talking about some other elements that trouble me. one of them is the estate tax. the estate tax is a tax paid by very, very few americans, less than 1% of those who die each year pay anything to the federal government on their estates because most people don't have an estate large enough to qualify tor estate tax liability. there was a long debate for many years on this issue. frank hrupbts -- luntz and advisorses came up with the term
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the death tax and created this impression among a lot of people that this tax, the estate tax or death tax would be imposed on virtually everyone. when i went out to o'hare airport once to check in curbside where you can do that, one of the airline attendants took my baggage, saw the name tag on it and said, senator, please do something and protect me from the death tax. and i wanted to stop and tell this hardworking gentleman he'd have to win the lottery to pay the death tax, as he called it. it really is reserved for a small number of people in this country who have done very well in life and end up paying a tax ultimately on the increase in value of many of the assets they bought during the course of their life. having said that, it has become part of our deficit negotiation. i'm troubled by the notion that we're somehow going to give a tax break to some 6,000 very fortunate americans and incur a new expense for our federal government of some $130 billion
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or $140 billion in the process. what are we thinking? at a time whaoef to try to -- we have to try to bring together the resources to reduce our deficit, why would we want to give a new bonus break for the wealthiest people in this country when it comes to the estate tax. at that to me would be a step backwards. i hope we are not forced into any agreement that includes it, although i stand here knowing full well that if there is an ultimate compromise there will be parts of it i find disgusting and reprehensible which i may have to swallow in the name of following a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff. that is the nature of a compromise. i hope that one isn't included but it may be. we have to do things important for this economy and one of the most important is to make sure we extend unemployment benefits for long term unemployed. if we don't act quickly two million americans will lose their unemployment benefits tomorrow. these people are literally struggling to get by and keep their families together while they look for a job. we should make sure this
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stimulus, the money for unemployed families continues so that while they're trying to find a job or going through new education and training, they have a helping hand. that's who we are as americans, and we ought to include it in any package that avoids this fiscal cliff. beyond that, there's much work that needs to be done beyond the fiscal cliff. this negotiation does not really go deeply into deficit reduction, and i think we need to. i was a member of the simpson-bowles commission. i salute my colleague, kent conrad of north dakota who is retiring in a few days for his amazing leadership in bringing us to this moment in this national debate. pwe we still have much work to do and i'm sorry kent won't be here to be personally part of it. i viewed him as an almost irreplaceable resource in this debate. he knows more about our federal budget and the deficit challenge we face than any member of congress. period. all the rest of us have learned so much from him, and we're certainly going to miss him.
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but we need to continue this effort that he started to reduce the deficit. we need to look seriously at our entitlement programs so that at the end of the day we meet our obligation to future generations. social security is solvent for 20 years. we should make it solvent for 75. and we can do it. if we face it today, we can do it. i think we ought to have a separate commission taking a look at this challenge, reporting back to congress and entertaining alternatives and substitutes on the floor that will meet, certify to meet the same goal. that is important. we also know that medicare in 12 years will not have the resources it needs to meet its obligations. 40 million or 50 million americans depend on it for, literally for their life and death issues when it comes to health care. we need to work on that immediately to deal with reducing the cost of medicare and still protecting the integrity and promise of that amazing program that has served us so well for almost 50 years. so we have a challenge ahead of
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us. first let's work together on a bipartisan basis to try to avoid this fiscal cliff. if we cannot, let's work as quickly as we can to get back on our feet on a bipartisan basis and come up with an agreement that moves our economy forward. finally, let's deal with destruction and long-term entitlement reform. that is part of our obligation. mr. president, i spoke to our senate democratic caucus a little earlier today about the terrible problems we face in illinois with one of the lowest credit ratings in the nation, primarily because our pension systems are underfunded. for more than four decades, republican and democratic governors have ignored the challenge as have many leaders in our general assembly, and now the responsibility falls on this generation of leaders to try to deal with a vexing situation where it would take literally one-third of our state budget to meet the unfunded liabilities of our pension systems. we cannot let that happen at the federal level. whether it's social security or medicare, we need to make the
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thoughtful choices, the thoughtful advances in these programs today that protect them for generations to come. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, we are here just hours before a looming deadline that is going to affect just about every american in some way, and i do believe that both sides of the aisle and both sides of the rotunda want to come to a conclusion that will keep us from having what looks like a complete meltdown of governing in washington. someone asked the question in one of our conferences when was the last time that congress was in session and voting between christmas and new year's, and the answer was since 1970, there has not been such a session, and
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it has actually only happened four times in the history of our country, and two of those times were dealing with world war ii. so i think the enormity of the issue is very clear, and that's why we are here. i think we should have done this six months ago, a year ago. i think all of us agree that we shouldn't be here at this last hour still trying to negotiate a point at which so many americans are going to be more heavily taxed. i was pleased to see that the distinguished deputy leader on the democratic side talked about the three areas that we have to address, and deficit reduction is most certainly one of them because we are facing a ceiling
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of a $16 trillion debt that is getting ready to be exceeded, so yes, deficit reduction and entitlement reform are two areas that we must address. this country cannot continue to have social security and medicare spiraling toward not even being solvent. we can't do it. but it's going to take a bipartisan approach. i mean, it's not rocket science to see that we have a democratic senate, a republican house and a democratic president, and that's going to be the same starting january 3 of next year for at least two more years. so we know what we're dealing with, and i think it affects us right now in the fiscal cliff
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negotiations because we are not going to do anything unless it is bipartisan. we will not be able to pass anything in the house that doesn't have significant republican votes in the senate, and the democrats in the senate are not going to be able to support something that won't require some votes of democrats in the house. so we are together, maybe it's like a dysfunctional family, but we do have to work together because without bipartisanship, nothing is going anywhere. therefore, i think you have to go back to negotiations 101. which is that someone in a negotiation has to win some and lose some. the other party in a negotiation
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has to win some and lose some. the president is not going to get everything he wants. the republicans in the house and senate are not going to get everything we want. nor are the democrats in the house and senate. so we have areas where we can come together, and i've seen it. all of us were talking in the last couple of hours about how we have talked to our counterparts on the other side of the aisle here about what could bring us together, and there are very clear areas where we can come to an agreement. we are not going to be able to negotiate all parts of what we must do to get our financial house in order. we're not going to be able to do tax reform in a comprehensive way. we are not going to be able to
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do the fixing of and reforming of our entitlement programs. we are not going to be able to set all of the spending cuts that we are going to have to do going forward right here in the next 36 hours. we can't do it. that has to be done on a basis of determining after many hearings and determinations what our priorities are and what the ceiling on spending should be. we must set a ceiling. is it 18% or 20% of gross domestic product? is it some amount that goes down each year? that is the question that has to be decided after a lot of discussion next year. but what we can do is avoid a
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fiscal calamity by not having the sequestration take place on january 1 at midnight but make that a very short term. it can't be two years of a moratorium on sequestration because then we would not get to where we need to be and determining the priorities that will lower the rate of spending in this country. our problem in this country is a spending problem, and with a $16 trillion debt, more spending is not going to be the answer. so let's look at a very short-term avoidance of sequestration because we don't want to disrupt our military when they have boots on the ground in harm's way. we wouldn't do that. we wouldn't do it on either side
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of the aisle, so we need to talk about some short-term sequestration avoidance but not a long-term one, because there are things we can cut in the military budget that will not affect the equipment and the pay and the living conditions of our military. we can cut other things, so we have got to be able to come to terms with not having the sequestration but making it very short term. i think that it is clear that the president has wanted to increase taxes on what he considers the wealthy. i disagree with the president on what is wealthy. i hope that we can come to terms, and when i talk to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and even the president has said that a $400,000 threshold is something that he could
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accept. many on the other side of the aisle have said $500,000, $600,000 is something that they could work with, and if we do some other things, i believe you could come to a consensus, not something that we like because i don't think we ought to tax anyone. i have certainly voted that way, but there is some area where we can have a short-term fix that will keep us from having to go over this cliff and hurt so many people in this country. i think it is so important that we look at the big-ticket items in a comprehensive way and know that we're going to have to do that next year, but there are things we can do right now. i don't know one person out of a hundred here that wants the
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a.m.t. to take effect and cause people who make $35,000 to have to pay more taxes. a.m.t. should not -- i think we should do away with the a.m.t. completely, but certainly it should not kick in at $35,000, and we need to fix it, and i think everybody here agrees we need to fix it. the distinguished deputy leader was talking about the death tax. now, he doesn't think that we should fix the death tax. i certainly do. if we go to a million dollars exemption and a 55% tax, i think that is going to hurt family-owned businesses, it's going to hurt farms and ranches that lose the major owner, and it's going to hurt the people who work for those family-owned businesses. and why is that? it's because the value on equipment and farms and ranches,
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which is land, does not have a revenue stream that allows you to pay the tax. so what do you have to do? you have to sell an asset that you can't get the valuation that is put on it. you cannot do it. i have owned a manufacturing company, and i can tell you, you can't sell the equipment for the value that is put on that piece of equipment. so what happens to a family-owned business? they end up having to sell at pennies on the dollar to pay the tax and people are put out of work. now, is that really what we want? the exemptions that we have now are $5 million and a 35% rate. it would go to $1 million in 36 or 48 hours, $1 million at a 55%
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rate, and remember the death tax is a tax that has already been paid again and again and again. it's a tax on the value of the equipment or the land that has already been taxed with a property tax or a tax on the equipment. so there is a reason to have some accommodation in the death tax so that we will not face more unemployed people who work for a family-owned business or farm, and that is a -- it is if not the number-one issue of the farm bureau of this country, it's certainly in the top two or three because they know, they know what it's like to have to sell land that is not productive at a value that is not realistic
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and pay a tax, and a 55% tax is pretty confiscatory. so, mr. president, i do hope that we can come together on a bipartisan basis because if we don't come together on a bipartisan basis, nothing will get done because we have the house that is looking to the united states senate, that is supposed to be the adult in the room, and they are looking at us to see how the votes turn out. and we need a large majority on both sides of the aisle to accepted to the house something that has a firm stamp of approval from this body. and we need the president to be a player here as well. i am encouraged that he is now talking to our leaders and
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hopefully being constructive, and certainly our vice president who has served in this body for so long does understand the importance of the one-on-one talks, and he is talking to, i know, our leader and most certainly the democratic leader as well. so, madam president, the hour is getting late, both figuratively and actually. we don't have much time to settle an issue that will affect the economy of this country. and last but not least, i am sure the president does not want on his watch to have a calamity like this happen, and i don't want on my watch as one who is leaving the senate this year for this to be the last thing that happens on my watch, and i don't think anyone here is going to
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benefit from a calamity happening in this country's economy, even for a few days, because it just looks like we can't govern, and it's time to realize that on a bipartisan basis, we can do some things that won't be universally liked and it won't be liked by everyone in this room or anyone in this room 100% because we're not going to get everything that we think is right. but we can move our country forward. we can help everyone in this country, every taxpayer, but we're not going to raise taxes to spend more. we should be saying okay, if there's going to be a threshold that pays more taxes, they should know it's going to bring down the deficit. that is a very important point that we hope will be determined
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at the end of this road in 36-48 hours. so thou, mr. president. and i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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tv
Book TV
CSPAN December 30, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EST

John Lukacs Education. (2010) 'The Legacy of the Second World War.'

TOPIC FREQUENCY Africa 18, Us 14, Mr. Durbin 6, America 6, Illinois 5, United States 5, Pennsylvania 3, Chris Smith 2, China 2, Washington 2, Asia 2, U.s. 2, Ethiopia 2, West Virginia 2, Mr. Toomey 1, Obama 1, John Kerry 1, Durbin 1, Dick Lugar 1, Thou 1
Network CSPAN
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 91 (627 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480


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on 12/30/2012
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